Category Archives: Outdoors

Geocaching Milestones

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A backpack, baseball cap, 2 pairs of shoes, and a geocache container sitting on a rock.As this whole blog has been rather in-active during the last 2 years (that’s pretty much the point where I started being active in student representation … coincidence?), there’s not been a lot of talk about anything but the role model articles. Priorities – I haz them.

So, I checked my archives. The last time I talked about geocaching was in summer 2014. That was the trip to Italy (and Slovenia), when I hit 460 founds. By the end of 2014, I had logged over 500 geocaches. Then I started setting goals … by the end of 2015, I wanted to have a log of 700 finds. It was a close call, I had a few very active days just before New Year’s Eve, but made it: log number 704 happened on December 30 in Hamburg, Germany.

The plan for 2016 is to again log about 200 geocaches within a year. As we’ve seen last year, that’s absolutely feasible. So by December 31, 2016, I want to have logged my 900.

Another thing I’m planning is to make a collection of some of the coolest caches that I found, here on this blog. This won’t be easy, because I haven’t been taking pictures everytime I went out to search, and I probably have forgotten some very nice hideouts already. But nevertheless, there will be a nice gallery starting soon!

An eye for details

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In the last weeks, I spent a lot of time working for FemCamp Wien, and also for the CS Student’s Union, so in order to still have some free time, there was not a lot of time left for Role Model posts…

But in my free time, I did notice some very nice details when out and about. Enjoy!

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rare butterfly at Schönbrunn Park: a golden sequin butterfly!
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spot the sloth-game at Schönbrunn Zoo. I got it!
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a cheetah in the cheetah building at Schönbrunn Zoo.
sign on the toilet door at Deewand (pakistani restaurant)
sign on the toilet door at Deewand (pakistani restaurant)
Duct tape holds the world together (Nixhöhle in Niederösterreich)
Duct tape holds the world together (Nixhöhle in Niederösterreich)

Bavarian Kitsch: Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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One day out of the 10 or such that I spent at my parents’ place during the holidays, we took a train to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a town in Bavaria. We had a nice afternoon walking through the old town, taking a closer look at some of the buildings (including the incredibly old library, and the newly renovated church), and had coffee and cake that could have been a full meal.

The initial plan also included to search for some geocaches, but as my Dad wasn’t too excited about watching me look for tiny containers “for nothing”, I decided to rather have a nice afternoon with my parents 🙂

And of course, I took a couple pictures, so you get something out of it, too!

The poem on the wall reads:

Dreifach ist der Schritt der Zeit,
zögernd kommt die Zukunft hergezogen,
Pfeilschnell ist das Jetzt verflogen,
Ewig still steht die Vergangenheit.

Keine Ungeduld beflügelt
Ihren Schritt, wenn sie verweilt.
Keine Furcht, kein Zweifel zügelt
Ihren Lauf, wenn sie enteilt.
Keine Reu, kein Zaubersegen
kann die stehende bewegen.

Möchtest du beglückt und weise
Endigen des Lebens Reise
Nimm die zögernde zum Rat
Nicht zum Werkzeug deiner Tat.
Wähle nicht die fliehende zum Freund,
nicht die bleibende zum Feind.

In short, it says that time has in 3 different velocities: Future arrives hesitantly, Present flies by fast as an arrow, and Past stays ever the same. There is no way to speed up the lingering, no way to slow down the rushing, and no way to move the stagnant. So if you want to be happy at the end of your life, don’t make the Future your tool, but rather your advisor, don’t be too fond of the Present, and don’t make an enemy of the Past.

Small plans instead of big resolutions

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Most people have one big New Year’s Resolution, and struggle with it. A way better idea that I heard during my stay at my parent’s place, in a Sunday morning interview with one of my favourite authors, Thomas Brezina (wikipedia), is the following:

Don’t make one big resolution. Try to think of a couple of things that you’d like to do during the upcoming year. Write them down, and during 2014, check every once in a while how you are doing on completing those plans.

So here are my plans for 2014:

  • find about 170 geocaches, so my total will be at least 500 by the end of 2014
  • walk another 2 parts of Lechweg with my mum
  • hike up Säuling, a mountain near my hometown, also with my mum
  • finally complete the trail that goes all around Vienna (“Rundumadum”)
  • make use of my Niederösterreich Card
  • complete courses worth 30 ECTS per semester, so I’ll finish my Bachelor’s degree within 8 semester in sum

and of course, the classic thing: restart going to Yoga and Gymnastics classes on a weekly basis.

Did you make a resolution? Or do you have plans, like I do?

Geocaching Frenzy

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Last week, I realized that my current number of found Geocaches was nearing 290, so I decided that it could not be that this year would end without my at least finding another 10 Geocaches and thus hitting 300 found and logged Geocaches.

For this purpose, I started a thread on the Vienna Group in bewelcome, asking for people to join me. Lo and Behold, some people actually replied to it (either in the thread or via direct message), and asking some more friends in person, I ended up with a group of 4 other women who would join me on a Saturday in the late morning to go and hunt some Geocaches in the outskirts of Vienna, and at least 2 who would join me on Sunday, too.

The hike on Saturday in the Nussdorf area was about 5 km long, and we found all the Geocaches along the route, scoring a total of 16 found Geocaches in one day. That means that I not only achieved my goal of reaching 300 before New Year’s, but I even managed to surpass my to-date best Geocaching day 🙂

On Sunday, only 2 of the group were left: me and Anna whom I met at the WienTut. We met up at Schwarzenbergpark and logged one earthcache and 6 traditionals. Of the 6 traditionals, 4 had a Terrain rating of 2 or higher – because they were hidden in trees and I had to climb up to get them. It was great fun 🙂

So my current score is 320 found Geocaches – and I’m already looking for people who will join me on some short trips to cities in the area surrounding my home town around Christmas 🙂

Vienna 101, continued

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Showing the city I love to people who are new to it or want to discover new places – I LOVE it 🙂

As everybody at the first meeting liked the idea, we visited Zentralfriedhof on our second trip. I changed my usual tour a little, so we would see different parts of the cemetery, including the old Jewish cemetery where I don’t go that often. We also checked off some Geocaches that had been placed at the cemetery after my last visit.

Our third visit to Places You’d Usually Don’t See Or Visit In Vienna was to Lainzer Tiergarten. Unfortunately, most of the park is closed in Winter, due to all the game living there and their need of having a quiet time during the cold season. So instead of having a rather long hike starting in the North of the park, and having a great view over the city, we spent most of the Tutorium on the tramway and waiting for it – but the small part of the park that was open was definitely worth it! That part is called Hermesvillapark, and that Villa is a lovely piece of bavarian Kitsch in the middle of a lovely area –  built by Emperor Franz Joseph for his beloved Sisi.

We tried solving a multi stage geocache, but didn’t succeed. Obviously 3 informatics students can’t count letters as good as a 7 year old girl (we met a geocaching family along the way, and they had a different outcome, and logged the cache … ). Later on, we DID log a traditional geocache, so bringing the GPS device wasn’t totally futile 🙂

Last but not least, trip number 4 took us to Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (HGM, Museum of Military History). Every year, usually on the first weekend of advent, there’s a medieval market happening outside the museum, and the entrance to the museum is free of charge. This time, only 2 of our usual participants came, and even Boki didn’t have time to come. I decided to also invite some other friends and acquaintances, but still we only were 4 people 🙂  We learned some things about Austria’s wars from 17th to 19th century, about fencing in the 14th century, fashion in the 13th century, and about the area where HGM is located (called “Arsenal”). Of course we also tasted a couple of punch variations and logged a geocache. I sure am happy that people don’t mind, or even enjoy, my hijacking the Tutorium for finding geocaches 🙂

Walking on sunshine

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As my grandma didn’t have time to visit while I was at home in August, I decided to pay another visit last week so we could spend some time together.

One of the couple of days we had together, we went for a small hike with my mum – we decided to walk over Austria’s highest pedestrian suspension bridge! It’s only a 40 minute walk from Holzgau village, and the views are awesome. A tiny bit of vertigo, of course, comes with the trip: the bridge is 200.5 meters long, and spans a valley at 105 meters height.

Oh, and there’s a geocache close to the bridge 🙂

Personal Best!

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Together with my sister in law and her son, but also on my own, I managed to find nearly 30 geocaches within one week 🙂

Here are some pictures:

On Wednesday, when my sister in law had the day off, we went to Füssen (Bavaria) to try and complete and trail of 18 geocaches in a small forest southwest of the city. We didn’t do the whole trail, though, because we had to be back for lunch 🙂 Still, I climbed 3 trees, nearly fell down one of them, scratched and bruised my arms and overall  had a great time.

TBH, … again ;)

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I really wanted to finish my hike from last year. But due to University schedules, and incredibly hot summer, and weird working schedules, I haven’t been able to prepare as much as I wanted. Also, the BF, who wanted to come with me on this trip, won’t have the time to do so. So the new plan was to just go for a 2 day-hike with my Mom while I was back home for a week.

And with the assistance of my brother, his wife and son, TBH became WOAR: Whichever Outdoor Activity, Really. I just wanted to get outdoors and get some fresh air.

And really, that was what I got: 2 days hiking along river Lech with my Mom, one day with lots of rain, the other with cloudy weather, and 2 days of geocaching with my brothers’ family.

And, as pictures say it all, here’s a little gallery for you!

TBH, Day 4: Türnitz – Mariazell

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If you guessed it from the title – congratulations!

Somehow I managed to get from Türnitz to Mariazell in one day. It’s about 34,5 km, so no small thing to do … but let’s start at the beginning: in the morning 🙂

I started at 7.10 in the morning, and decided to take it easy. If I’d manage to get to Mariazell all by foot, great. If not, I’d take the bus. Period.

One break was in Annaberg, the next “big” village. 13.5 km – and a rather large part of that going uphill rather steeply. As a reward, I sat down for half an hour, and even had a nice chat with 3 gentlemen from UK. I even saw them again later … lovely 🙂

In Josefsberg (yep, it’s on a mountain. just like Annaberg and Joachimsberg.), I decided to have coffee and homemade Apfelstrudel. Also, I found a cache (nothing special, and dripping wet). Unfortunately, that was the only cache of the day as at the next location the GPS signal kept changing in a range of 30 ft and more.

Somewhere I of course missed a turn and walked along the Bundesstraße again.  And just before St. Sebastian, the gentlemen from UK passed me on the motor bikes 🙂  They even remembered me and waved – that’s a nice piece of motivation!

Did I just say St. Sebastian? Check the map! It’s the last village on the way to Mariazell. I seriously did it. The moment when I realized this was amazing. I started laughing like a madman.

The village itself is as touristy as I imagined. Prices in Pensions and Hotels are of course crazy. Couchsurfers are non-existent. After checking out one Pension (and not liking the room at all: there’s huge demand for rooms, so providers can ask pretty much any price for anything), I found a room at a lovely Gasthaus. If you ever go to Mariazell, let me know. I’ll tell you where I stayed 🙂

Just this much: the rooms are nothing special, but the owner was incredibly lovely. He reminded me of my Grandfather (who died last year in September) big time. In the evening, friends of his occupied the dining room – and we had a blast. Age ranged from about 19  (yep, I wasn’t the youngest there) to 74 (the owner). There was a lot of live music and singing, a lot of laughing and even some food 🙂

Although I was up all day, walking for 8 hours straight (about 10 including all the breaks), I still managed to stay up until nearly midnight.